The oeuvre of the artist Thomas Helbig comprises three genres of art: drawing, painting and sculpture. For his sculptures, Helbig destroys commonplace, mass-produced, naturalistic figures of the kind normally intended for decorative purposes and forces their fragments into completely new and strangely futurist forms and structures. Coated with paint and resin, the sculptures feature fragments that are still recognizable – such as heads, torsi, hands, snouts and trunks – and hence not only enable the viewer to guess the identity of the original objects but also provide a broad scope for all kinds of mental associations. Their organic forms remind us of the permanent processes of decay and renewal that all forms of life undergo. In his paintings, too, Thomas Helbig will occasionally appropriate existing paintings of indeterminate origin and transform them, through overpainting and perhaps also through the addition of other materials, into completely new, expressive and, at times, relief-like works. In an interview held in 2006, Thomas Helbig explained the concept behind his works: "They are about reduction to an unrecognizable state from which something new can then evolve. Concealing in order to reveal something, encrypting in order to make something visible. That is the purpose of the overpainting, for it makes the different materials and their colours recede for the sake of an organic whole. Destruction – the liberation from the constraints of naturalism, so to speak – is a prerequisite in my work for the development of that special something that one might call poetry."
Much the same may said of Thomas Helbig's drawings, too: they are like windows that open out onto an ethereal cosmos filled with traces and vestiges of abstract, modernistic forms that unfold their own unique form of poetry before the viewer's gaze.
Born in Rosenheim in 1967, Thomas Helbig today lives and works in Berlin. After having taken part in numerous international exhibitions, he was first honoured with a solo exhibition in a public institution – Oldenburger Kunstverein – in 2008.